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|A nice little start to a story about a girl who goes to the dragons willingly.... I actually don't have a plot for this story yet, but I've got a few ideas. Just a start.||
As the dragon swooped down on her, she smiled. This was what she wanted.
The mouth was open; sunlight was glinting off the teeth almost as long as her arm. The talons were outstretched like a hawk about to grab a mouse.
She raised her face to the sky. She could already feel the wind from the massive wings blowing against her face though it was still very far off.
Soon, it was upon her, and she was waiting for the talons to pierce her in the most magnificent suicide ever.
The claws closed around her. She was gone.
Riona awoke to a wonderful smell. “Now dearie, I know you’re awake, tell us about yourself.”
Riona found herself talking, though she had promised herself that she wouldn’t ever think about anything like that.
“My father is the ruler of our land. I am the only daughter. I have seventeen other siblings, all boys. They are nice to me, but they can’t talk to me much now. I think I’m a disappointment to father. He busies them with silly tasks the servants can do, but they still find time to talk to me. Finally, my father angered and put me to work in the kitchen. I like it there, it always smells good and everyone likes me. My brothers still find time to talk to me though. They sneak in after cleaning or jousting or something else. They pretend they’re still doing it when they really talk to me. Sometimes Father gets mad and beats them, but then they show open defiance. He loves his sons, but they think he should love me. Finally, to make his sons less hostile, he accepts me back, but I preferred the kitchen. At least there I didn’t get cold looks every time I looked around. I have heard of an arranged marriage to get me out of the house, and to a horrible man. I can’t stand it anymore. I know this will hurt my brothers, but I can’t bear living in my father’s house. I hear of ferocious dragons that fly around a rocky knoll, the same dragons that took my mother. I decide to go there, let the dragons take me as well, end my life in a spectacular way, for I have seen a few dragons and think they are beautiful. One day I pretend to go flower picking. I left a basket full of flowers at home. I paid for a spell caster to enchant them so they will live forever. I left one for each of my brothers and one for each of my friends in the kitchen. I also left one for each of my father’s wives that were kind to me. They are all labeled, and everyone has their own note. I hope my brothers will understand. I climb up to the top of the rock knoll, but it is hard because of my dress. It is my favorite dress. I see a dragon coming, and smile because I know I will have gone out nicely, feeding these proud creatures, or so I hope. Am I dead now?”
A kind voice replied, “Well, of course not, dearie. Dragons aren’t that savage. You were right though, they are proud. It will please them to know that you understand that. Sleep now.”
Riona frowned. “I’m not dead? Why not?” She struggled to open her eyes, but her lids were too heavy.
“Just sleep dearie. All will be told to you.”
Riona could feel a sleepy fog envelop her mind, but she fought it. She wanted to know now! But the fog was too strong. She drifted off to sleep again.
“All right dearie, you can wake up now,” the friendly voice said.
Riona opened her eyes. There was a kind plump woman leaning over her. But her eyes were different. She had curly hair spilling over her shoulders. She turned to get something from a table, and Riona saw what was different.
The woman had wings, and scales ran along her back. She also had strange ears and a tail that she held erect behind her. She seemed part dragon part human.
Another being came in. This one looked almost like a dragon, only it walked upright and was much smaller.
“Hello Gael,” the woman said.
“Hello Serene,” the dragon replied. “How’s our patient?”
“I’m fine thank you,” Riona replied tartly.
“Here dearie, eat some of this,” said Serene, handing Riona a bowl of stew.
Riona eyed it carefully, but it looked nourishing enough. Her nose was yelling at her that it smelled so good she should eat it. Her stomach rumbled. The last thing she had eaten was a bite of breakfast, so that she wouldn’t waste food for the household. Who knew how long ago that was? It could be a few hours; it could be a few days.
She took a hesitant bite. Soon, she was licking the bowl clean.
“She sure does eat well,” Gael said.
“Now dearie, here’s another bowl. What’s your name?”
Riona took the bowl and started eating it. “My name is Riona. Where am I?”
Serene laughed. “Gael, you explain. I’ll provide the food for the girl.”
Gael sat down on the edge of Riona’ bed.
“You are in a place,” she said carefully, “Where somehow dragons got mixed with humans. There are full dragons living here, but there are also part dragons part humans. Some humans look entirely human, some have wings and a tail like Serene here, some look like a small upright dragon like me. There are a few whole humans here, but not many, for those that come usually choose human-dragon spouses. You are welcome to stay, but if you must go we can fly you back home if you wish.”
Riona shook her head. “I would love to stay,” she said truthfully. “As long as I can send a message to my brothers telling them that I’m not really dead. I think they’d like to know that.”
Serene nodded. “There are only a few who try to commit suicide by dragon, but they usually want to send a message to those who they know will miss them. As long as you don’t specify where you are and what kind of people you’re living with. We’ve had more than a few vengeful young men who think their friends, family, or bride-to-be’s were captured by the horrible dragon-people.”
Riona smiled. “I’ll be sure to tell them not to come after me.”
Riona was brought paper and pencil. She handed the letter to Gael, who left to deposit it.
“When do I get to meet people?” Riona asked excitedly.
Serene laughed. “Why, I suggest you start meeting them now dearie, if you’re ready.”
Riona nodded eagerly. “I’m ready. I want to make friends and start a new life.”
“Well dearie, I’ll call up some young people around your age who were very interested when they heard that we had a new visitor.”
She whistled sharply. A miniature dragon flew in through a window.
“Go fetch your friends,” Serene told it. “Quickly now!”
The little dragon nodded and flew away. A few minutes later there was a knock at the door.
Riona stood up. Three people came in; a girl who had beautiful dragon eyes and green wings folded up against her back, a boy with gold wings and a tail that was practically the same as Gael but just a bit more human, and another girl who looked almost completely human except for her long slender brown ears poking through her hair.
“Hello,” said Riona. “I’m Riona.”
“I’m Rebecka,” the girl with the brown ears said.
“I’m Benedict,” the boy with wings and a tail said.
“And I’m Alice,” the girl with the green wings said.
“Can you three show Riona around?” Serene asked. “She wants to get along here.”
Benedict gave Serene a smile. “Sure,” he said.
Serene smiled back. “Off with you, you rascal. Go have fun with Riona. You too, girls. I have more pressing matters to attend to right now.”
Riona went out with Alice, Benedict and Rebecka.
“I hope you like it here,” Alice said.
“Thank you,” Riona said with a smile.
“Well, are we going?” Benedict said.
They were in a strange town built on a cliff. The houses were grouped in clusters. There would be a cluster of houses, and then a big open space, and another cluster of houses.
“The empty space is for the full blooded dragons to land,” Rebecka said helpfully.
Riona nodded. That made sense now.
“We don’t have money here like you do down there,” Alice said. “It’s silly, separating the rich from the poor. Besides, we all pay each other back with favors and things. It helps people get along.”
“I like your dress,” Rebecka said as they set off again.
“I do too,” Riona replied. “It’s not too fancy but it’s still pretty.”
Rebecka smiled. “You must have had lots of fun back with your family.”
Riona grimaced a bit. “Not really. They say dragons took my mother. Not,” she added quickly, “That I believe it now, but that’s how they kept me away from here when I was little. They used to say, ‘Don’t go there. You’ll get taken by the dragons, just like your mother.’”
Rebecka smiled shyly. “Do you miss your mother?”
Riona shrugged. “I never really knew her. I was very young and my father wanted me to stay with nannies and such.”
“Do you miss your father?” Rebecka said.
“No,” Riona replied. “He’s why I left. We…we didn’t get along. I miss my brothers though.”
Rebecka nodded. “My mother left because my father looked completely human. Because I got these,” she touched her ears, “My mother thought I was deformed or something. So she left.”
“I’m sorry,” Riona said.
“It’s fine. What kind of a mother would desert their child because they had dragon ears when we live in a place full of dragon half breeds?” Rebecka said a little too brightly. Riona could tell she didn’t let it off that easily, but she wanted to make a good impression.
Riona looked up to a swooping noise. A dragon was coming in to land, and Benedict was waving excitedly to it.
Hello, little one.
Riona started. It’s just me, the voice in her head said again.
Riona looked up at the dragon that was folding its wings. It usually startles all newcomers, the voice chuckled. We have the wrong vocal chords to talk like you, so we found a way to use our minds.
Riona smiled. What’s your name, little one? The dragon asked.
“My name’s Riona,” Riona said.
I’m delighted to meet you. My name’s Bolm. I’ve been waiting to see you ever since Benedict told me about you.
“Really? Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” Riona curtsied slightly.
Bolm chuckled. It was a deep, frightening sound, and if Riona hadn’t talked with the dragon beforehand she would have collapsed with fear.
“Come on!” Benedict said, obviously exchanging a few words with Bolm. “Let’s go see what’s happening!”
He leaped with the ease of obvious practice onto Bolm’s back. Alice climbed onto a small grassy knoll, and Rebecka, giving me a shy smile, leaped on with more grace than Benedict. She twirled around before landing, and gave Riona a little wink after landing elegantly and switching to ride sidesaddle. Benedict muttered, “Showoff.”
Riona smiled and climbed up Bolm’s proffered leg. Positioning herself behind Rebecka, she smiled. Now her new life could begin.
Bolm leaped into the air, and Riona felt her hair stream out behind her. Lifting herself free of the whipping mess that was Rebecka’s hair, she took a deep breath.
What do you sense? It was Bolm’s voice, but I couldn’t tell who he was asking.
There’s a hatching soon! came the voice of Rebecka in my head. What a great way for Riona to start off!
Riona was confused. She heard the dragon laughing again as he changed course. Rebecka hears more with her ears than just voices, he said. She can tell when things are happening, and can project her thoughts as well as any dragon.
Soon they were landing by a grove of trees. Tall trees, tall enough to conceal dragons. Alice swooped down and folded her wings.
At the edge of the forest, they dismounted and walked. Dragons have nests too, Bolm explained, but they aren’t in trees. Therefore we try to make it as close as possible.
Riona heard strange noises up ahead. Soon they came to a huge nest that was sitting on the ground between two trees. The trees were practically one, and such ancients were the best place for a dragon to make her nest.
The dragon was a shimmering golden color, and she was bending over the dozen or so round objects nestled between the trees. She acknowledged them before turning back to her eggs.
“Everybody’s invited to a hatching if they can find out about it,” Alice said. “If you form a bond with one of the hatched dragons, it’s said that you’ll have a friend for life. Now, I’m just warning you that some humans might come out of those eggs. I’m not saying any will for sure, but if the do, don’t be surprised.”
Alice adjusted her wings and sat down on a moss-covered rock. Rebecka sat cross-legged on the ground, and Benedict leaned up against Bolm and was obviously having a mental conversation.
Riona cautiously asked the mother mentally, trying to project her thoughts, Can I see?
The dragon nodded. Of course, little one.
Riona approached the nest. She rested her elbows on the side and peered over the edge. She rested her head on her hands. The eggs just sat there, but there was an air about them and their mother that let her know that they would soon hatch.
Later, she couldn’t be sure how much later, she thought she saw something. She blinked. Sure enough, she saw it again.
“It wobbled! They’re hatching!” she said excitedly.
The small group that had gathered rushed to the nest. Soon, the first egg cracked. A tiny, shimmering eye peeked out at Riona. Then it disappeared somewhere in the egg. The egg exploded.
There, curled up in the larges pieces, lay a tiny golden dragon. It uncurled and wobbled to the edge of the nest. It sniffed at Riona curiously, then bit her hand.
Soon, egg fragments were flying through the air. Most of the group ducked, trying to avoid being hit, but they would peek up over the edge of the nest. Only the mother dragon and Bolm, plus one other dragon that had showed up, stayed upright.
Riona saw dragons emerging from the eggs as well as one or two humans. One of the hatchlings was a human covered in scales. This already childlike figure frightened Riona a bit at first, but she soon got over her fear. She knew she would see stranger things in life than a scaled human.
Once all the eggs had hatched, everyone stood up for longer than they had in about ten minutes. A few hatchlings had practically attached themselves to one of the gathered people.
The mother herded them out of the nest, encouraging them to explore. The little golden dragon followed Riona around. She hid behind a tree, climbed up a tree, and wound her way through a group, but it always found her and surprised her.
“Why don’t you go explore with your siblings?” she asked.
The little dragon leapt up, flapping furiously, and somehow managed to get to Riona’ shoulder.
Riona laughed. The little dragon emitted a little chirping sound.
Over the next few days, the dragon followed Riona everywhere. It grew so fast, she could have sworn she saw it enlarging.
“Dragons do that naturally,” Rebecka said when Riona commented on it. “They develop everything quickly it seems, but really they still have very far to go. But they do get intelligence quickly. Soon, you’ll be able to talk with your friend.”
Sure enough, after about a week, the little dragon spoke.
Riona was writing a letter to her brothers, hoping they didn’t mind her leaving too much.
“What are you doing?” a voice asked.
“Just writing a letter,” answered Riona without looking up, assuming it was Rebecka or Alice or another girl that had come to see her.
“To whom?” the voice persisted.
“My brothers,” Riona said, still not looking up. “They miss me, and I want them to know that I still care about them.”
“Do you miss them?” the voice asked.
“Yes. I really hope that I get the chance to talk-”
Riona looked up. There was nobody there.
“Hmm. I wonder why they left,” she said.
“I didn’t leave. I’m right here,” said the voice from right next to her.
Riona turned. “You can talk?” she said. “But dragons-”
“Yes, dragons don’t have the right vocal chords,” the now not so little dragon said, “But I guess I got the right ones.”
“Wow.” Riona said. “I thought they said it wasn’t possible.”
“Never say anything’s impossible,” the little dragon said.
“What’s your name?” Riona asked.
“My name is Leyn,” Leyn replied.
There was a knock at the door. Leyn flew to the window.
“It’s Rebecka,” she said as she glided back to Riona and perched on her shoulder.
Sure enough, Rebecka came in. “Did that little dragon just talk?” she said.
“Yes. Her name is Leyn,” Riona replied.
“Well, hello then, Leyn,” Rebecka said, stroking the dragon’s head.
“Hello,” Leyn said, stretching her neck luxuriously.
Riona signed her letter and folded it up. She sealed it with a hot blob of wax and her seal of a flying dragon that Benedict had carved for her. To her surprise, Leyn kindly took it from her and soared out the window.
Later, she returned. Riona was playing a dice game with her friends, and barely looked up when she felt the familiar weight of Leyn on her shoulder.
“I stayed and watched until they found it,” she told Riona. “They were very happy.”
Riona let the dice fall from her hand. “Really?”
“Yes. I also noticed that one of them left a letter in the same place. Do you want me to go get it?”
Riona looked at her. “Are you joking? Of course I would!”
Leyn glided off.
“Riona? It’s your turn.”
Riona turned back to the game. Alice was handing her the dice.
“I’m sorry,” she said, taking them. “I haven’t talked to them for weeks, and I really miss them.”
“We understand,” Benedict replied, leaning on his elbow and scooping the dice up with his tail. “Hah! Seven!”
Rebecka scooped up the dice. “We really do hope you get news from your brothers,” she said. “But for now, I rolled a five and a four and that brings me ahead by two points.”
Alice grabbed the dice and threw them. “Three?” she said. “I was going to win if only I had gotten a four!”
Riona laughed and took the dice, caught up in the game.
|The Truth About Heaven||Werewolf Cat|
|Daughter's Magic||Constantly Flying|